Mage: Player Guide

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It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.,
- Warren Ellis, Planetary -

House Rules and Clarifications

Beneficial Conditions and Spellcasting

Beneficial Conditions (such as Informed, Inspiring, and Steadfast) granted directly by spells NEVER grant beats when resolved, even if cast with an exceptional success.

Creative Thaumaturgy

A large part of Mage’s thematics hinge on the flexibility of magic, but that sort of flexibility is difficult on a chat game compared to tabletop. However, we don’t want to entirely prevent ‘on the fly’ magic or Creative Thaumaturgy, so we’re implementing the following rules:

Creative Thaumaturgy may be performed in staff-run scenes ‘on the fly’, at the staff member’s discretion. Being allowed to perform a spell in a staff-run scene without it being finalized (see below), however, does NOT guarantee that it can be used again, as the mechanics will generally be simplified and made to suit the current situation. Creative Thaumaturgy spells may be submitted to the “Rules Master” group via a “Custom Item/Power” request, where it will be discussed and balanced as needed. There’s no specific time limit between submissions, but please only submit CT for spells you’re capable of casting and actively plan to use.

Once approved, Creative Thaumaturgy spells will be made publicly available on the wiki, and can be cast and used by anyone as if they came from an official source.

If no staff is present, you may only perform approved and published spells in scenes.

Note that for now, only spells can be submitted, not custom Reach effects for published spells, to avoid difficulties cross-referencing.

Duel Arcane (Optional)

The following optional, more complex rules can be used for those in the Duel Arcane: Duel Rules

They must be agreed to by both parties to be used.

Exceptional Successes on Casting

The listed option of ignoring all Withstand ratings on an exceptional success in spellcasting is not available.

Indefinite Spells and Desanctioned Characters

Long term spells cast by Mages that are desanctioned fade, with the assumption being that for some reason or another it will end up dropped or dispelled after the casting character has died or left, rather than being allowed to linger indefinitely.

When a Mage desanctions, those benefiting from their active spells have one month to find another mage to “take responsibility” for it, that has the needed Arcana, at which point a request can be submitted confirming that. As well, by submitting a request in this time and temporarily losing a willpower dot (it’s simply unusable for the time period) this can be extended up to another month, due to the difficulty of finding people capable of the same exact spell at times.

Characters that spent Willpower dots to fuel indefinite spells for other characters that then desanctioned will of course get the willpower back if no replacement is found. Submit a request asking that it (or a sanctity XP) be added back to your sheet.

Pattern Restoration

Pattern Restoration is not able to remove Conditions or Tilts that are supernatural in nature; they need to be removed with appropriate spells (or resolved normally). It can remove mundane conditions/tilts that are applied because of supernatural powers, however (but if the power’s still active, this may be a Clash of Wills or it may just be re-applied).

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Sleepwalkers

TO clarify, Sleepwalkers are not mechanically considered a “half-template” for the Mage venue regardless of how involved in the Mage venue the Sleepwalker may be. Instead, Sleepwalker is a classification for characters who are immune to the Curse, cause no Dissonance, do not increase Paradox and remember what they’ve seen (as pertains to the Supernal). Additionally, characters who fall under this classification can purchase Sleepwalker Merits (defined as those with “Prerequisite: Sleepwalker”, NOT “Prerequisite: Mortal”, or “Prerequisite: Integrity”).

Character types who are considered Sleepwalkers (Note: Only 1 of the following is necessary):

  • Mortals who have purchased the Sleepwalker merit
  • Mortals who have purchased an “internal” Supernatural merit (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Changelings, Vampires, Werewolves, Fae-touched, Ghouls, Wolf-blooded or any other supernatural template.

Ephemeral beings and similar ‘Non-Template’ entities, like Strix and Oneroi, do not count as Sleepwalkers for the purpose of related mechanics, but nor do they count as Sleepers for the sake of paradox.

Clarification: Spell Holding

Sleepwalkers can be assumed to have one ‘Medium Sympathy’ spell ‘slot’ they can hold for a single Mage, and one ‘Strong Sympathy’ slot. They do not get these per Mage, it’s overall spells held in total. Banner Bearer adds to this, but is similarly calculated as an overall total.

Deadpan

Deadpan, per the current rules for definitions of ‘Magic’ in various venues, only works on Supernal Magic, by default, for the immunity provided. However, as a house rule they gain the increase in effective Composure against ALL supernatural means of fear.

Unsafe Relinquishment

Relinquishing a spell unsafely (with a willpower point) is an act of hubris at the Understanding level without an immediate need to. An inured spell is of course not affected by this.

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Clarifications

Clarification: Boons

Fate spells that grant a boon cannot provide a Potency dice bonus to casting dice pools, even if the spell lists affecting spellcasting pools as its own Reach option. Dice Tricks (e.g 9-again) affect spellcasting normally if Reach is used.

Clarification: Combined Spells

Combined spells have the same factors (if their Primary differs, choose one), including specified targets/area, unless a Reach is spent to separate the Scale.

Clarification: Nimbus Tilt

Nimbus Tilts only affect those actively witnessing them, meaning those using Mage Sight (or other supernatural powers that can perceive it), or anyone when the Nimbus is deliberately flared; this also includes the offender when the Nimbus is used defensively. However, the mage flaring the Nimbus is not affected by their own Tilt in any case.

Clarification: Resistance and Withstanding

Merits and abilities that subtract from a type of power’s resisted dice pool instead raises Withstand by 1/2 the amount (round up) when dealing with spells.

Merits and abilities that specifically treat the trait as higher just do exactly that.

Clarification: Shielding Spells

As listed in the Creative Thaumaturgy rules, Shielding spells will only protect against a number of supernatural effects equal to the spell’s potency for a given casting.

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Policy

Staff and Paradox

Releasing Paradox always requires a staff member present to direct the paradox Reach; it’s recommended not to release paradox for downtime casting

Internal Paradoxes require a staff member to be notified if more than 5 successes are rolled beyond what’s absorbed by Wisdom, as a new Paradox condition is likely to be needed.

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Cabal Creation

To create a create a request ticket or include in sanctioning request the following completed template

Template Example

Name
Cabal Name

Members:

  • -Shadow Name 1 - First Last Name
  • -Shadow Name 2 - First Last Name
  • -Shadow Name 3 - First Last Name
Theme
Theme that binds the cabal

Rites & Tenants - As per Lex Magica

  • Rite of Acceptance
  • Rite of Wisdom
  • Rite of Crossing
  • Rite of Hospitality
  • Rite of Sanctum
  • The Tenet of the Veil
  • The Tenet of Hubris
  • The Tenet of Protection
  • The Tenet of War

Locations

  • Neighborhood: Location
  • Safe Place: Location
  • Sanctum: Location
  • Hallow - Yes/No
  • Demense - Yes/No

Shared Dots

  • -Shadow Name1- First Last Name 2 Dots Safe Space, 1 Dot Sanctum, 1 Dot Hallow
  • -Shadow Name2- First Last Name 1 Dots Safe Space, 1 Dot Sanctum, 1 Dot Hallow
  • -Shadow Name3- First Last Name 1 Dots Safe Space, 1 Dot Sanctum, 1 Dot Hallow
  • -Shadow Name4- First Last Name 0
Description
Details about the cabals goals.

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Status

Consilium

  • Status 1
    • Any mage that resides in the city of Portland that has declared themself to a member of the Consilium’s Leadership Ally - Any exemplary resident of the Consilium’s domain who has served the Consilium.
  • Status 2
    • Liegeman/Liegewoman - Any mage who represents a cabal to the Consilium or who has earned special recognition for services to the Consilium.
  • Status 3- Mages at rank 3+ May be appointed the following position of service:
    • Sentinel
      • The Enforcer of the Consilium’s Law, tasked with patrolling its Sanctum and its Borders.
    • Herald
      • The Voice of the Consilium, tasked with acting as emissary amongst the Wise and distributing the edicts of the Consilium and its Leadership.
    • Factotum
      • The Prosecutor of the Consilium’s Law and the Lex Magica, tasked with prosecuting those members of the Wise who break the Lex as it has been established. They are also the keepers of the Lex Magica in its local form.
  • Status 4
    • Provost
      • The Hands of the Council tasked with the day to day functionings of the Consilium, ensuring that duties are distributed and performed amongst its membership. They are appointed at the pleasure of each individual councilor.
    • Interfector
      • The Eyes of the Council, the Knife in the Dark, Headsman of the Consilium, is appointed by the Council in times of need and is rarely a permanent position as its duties are often believed to defile even the most rigid of Awakened souls.
  • Status 5
    • Councillors
      • The Leading Council of the Consilium set the agenda of the Consilium, they are the beating heart of the Consilium, its ultimate leadership.
    • Hierarch
      • The Will of the Consilium and the Head of its Council sets the final edicts of the region, they are often both the most powerful and most popular of the Wise.

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Order

Mage players that purchase cross order status limit their maximum status to 3 total points of order status and may only spread those dots between 2 orders. A primary order must be declared. Players can still earn ICly ranks 3–5 in their primary status.

Status 3+ and their associated titles can only be earned through IC dedication to an Order or the Consilium and are granted by the Story Master/Narrator Staff at no XP cost. These ranks and titles can be stripped from a player for poor game play practices, inactivity, or failure to participate.

Order Status Benefits

  • Once during a month the Mage may request 1 dot from the temporary bonus list from their order.
  • Once during a month the Mage may request 2 dot from the temporary bonus list from their order.
  • Once during a month the Mage may request 3 dot from the temporary bonus list from their order. Additionally once a month the Mage may request 1 dot from the permanent bonus list as a justification for item purchase.
  • Once during a month the Mage may request 4 dot from the temporary bonus list from their order. Additionally once a month the Mage may request 2 dot from the permanent bonus list as a justification for item purchase.
  • Once during a month the Mage may request 5 dot from the temporary bonus list from their order. Additionally once a month the Mage may request 3 dot from the permanent bonus list as a justification for item purchase.

Benefits by Order

Adamantine Arrow

TemporaryPermanent
Imbued Item or WeaponImbued Item or Weapon
Enhanced Item or WeaponEnhanced Item or Weapon
ResourcesSanctum
Mentor CombatHallow
Safe PlaceRetainer
SanctumHallow

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Guardians of the Veil

TemporaryPermanent
Imbued Item or WeaponImbued Item or Weapon
Enhanced Item or WeaponEnhanced Item or Weapon
ResourcesSanctum
MentorHallow
Safe PlaceRetainer
Artifact 
Library 
Advanced Library 

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Free Council

TemporaryPermanent
Imbued ItemImbued Item
Enhanced ItemEnhanced Item
ResourcesSanctum
MentorHallow
ContactsRetainer
AlliesAlternate Identity
Safe PlaceArtifact
Sanctum 
Library 
Advanced Library 
Alternate Identity 
Staff (Research Assistants & Lab Techs) 

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Mysterium

TemporaryPermanent
Imbued ItemImbued Item
Enhanced ItemEnhanced Item
MentorSanctum
ContactsHallow
AlliesRetainer
LibraryAlternate Identity
Safe PlaceArtifact
SanctumGrimoire
Grimoire 

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Silver Ladder

TemporaryPermanent
Imbued ItemImbued Item or Weapon
Enhanced ItemEnhanced Item or Weapon
ResourcesSanctum
MentorHallow
ContactsRetainer
AlliesAlternate Identity
LibraryArtifact
Advanced LibraryGrimoire
Artifact 
Grimoire 
Staff 

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Titles by Order Status

Adamantine Arrow

Sleepwalkers

(Status 0 or 1 Banner Warden)

Any characters that fall into the category of Sleepwalker, who has sworn to defend the city along the Adamantine Arrows of Portland can earn the title of Banner Warden. Sleepwalkers are required to prove that even though they are not mages they will and have adapted the Adamant Way. Once they have proven themselves to the Adamantine Arrow they will receive a special pin, this pin identifies the individual as someone whom has provided honorable service. The pin also grants supervised access to Arrow Hall Conference Room within the Embassy Hotel.

Emblem of the Banner Warden.

Players with knowledge of the supernatural and support of the Embassy accords may take Status 0 in the Adaminte Arrow. Taking Status 0 offers no benefit or obligation in continued support the Mage Faction. After completing a story arch that includes Investigation and Combat alongside an Adamantite Arrow players may purchase status 1 with Narrator or Story Master approval. Status 1 requires the individual has sworn an oath to defend the city and must answer a call to arms if made by the Adamantine Arrow.

Mages

(Status 1 - Soldier)

A mage who has been received into the Arrows may take the title Talon. It is considered an honor to be accepted into the ranks of the Adamantine Arrow. Mages from any other order can earn the first rank, Talon, without conflict with their primary order. Mages are expected to present themselves as competent, respectful, and diligent while in the service as an Arrow. Failure to do so has rather undesirable results. Gaining status 0 in the Adamantine Arrows is rather easy. Loyal,extended service in the defense of the city is the bare minimum for this rank. Gaining Status 1 from outside the Adamantine Arrow is a lengthy and challenging process. The mage must prove they are capable of maintaining the balance between their order and the Tenants of the Adamantine Arrow. Out of Order mages that gain status 1 in the Adamantine Arrow are granted supervised access to Diamond Securities above ground facilities and underground Labs.

(Status 2 - Talon)

Famuli (singular famulus) of the Adamantine Arrow form the backbone of the order. Rising higher in Status than Talon requires a great deal of dedication to or ambition for the order itself, and Arrows have other concerns splitting their attention — Sleeper relations, protecting the Consilium, their cabals, their pupils, their mentors and so on. An Arrow might comfortably remain within his duties as a Talon his entire Awakened life, and suffer no stigma from his order because of it.

Mages from any Order can earn the rank of Talon. But they can not exceed rank 3 in their primary order should they chose to dedicate themselves more intensively to the Arrows.

(Status 3 - First Talon)

Position of Service: A member of the Adamantine Arrow who has earned the rank of first Talon. Dedicated themselves to the order, projecting themselves as the and takes a position of service like Herald or Sentinel.

(Status 4 - Thunderbolt Guardian)

Preparation is the key to victory, so the order enshrines this principle in the rank of Thunderbolt Guardian. Thunderbolt Guardians are teachers and counselors, versed in several useful fields, and also personally apply their abilities to operations.

(Status 5 - Adamant Sage (PC))

The Adamant Sage is by far the hardest rank to achieve and maintain. The Adamantine Sage is a shining example, a paragon, of all things Adamantine Arrow.

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Free council

Status Titles

(Status 0 - Unproven)

The mage has not be accepted as a full member of the Free Council but has expressed interest. They may attend assembly meetings but can not vote.

(Status 1 - Voter)

Any mage who has been accepted fully into the Free Council. This mage may vote at Assembly meetings.

(Status 2 - Voter)

Mages that reach the rank of two may start down the path to a Title of Service among the Free Council.

(Status 3 - Voter)
with Title of Order Service

The magi who reaches status 3 has proven they are competent in their service. They are awarded their title of service at rank 3.

(Status 4 - 5 Voter)
Trusted with greater responsibility

Free Council mages that competently and consistently serve the Assembly will be entrusted in greater duties among their field of service.

Titles of Service

Emissary

A position of ambassadorship, emissaries are the means by which the local Assembly interacts with other magi, other supernatural groups, and/or the embassy. Low-ranking emissaries are usually emissaries to their cabals, while higher-ranked ones may be asked to act as the Assembly’s ambassador to a Caucus or Consilium.

Minuteman

The citizen-soldiers of the Free Council, minutemen are those who have proven themselves defenders of the Council’s goals and members. They are expected to respond immediately to summons by the Council’s members, and to fight valiantly, whether in physical and magical conflict, or in the social arena. Additionally those who seek to gain status with the Adamantine Arrow must inform a ranking member of the Assembly.

Syndic

Politicians, the ideal of the Syndic is the Greek debater - clear-eyed, making people understand the nuances of the problems a people face, and then offering wise and charismatic ways to solve those problems.

Citizen Agent

Spies, covert agents and special forces, the citizen agents of the Council are regarded with great respect as heroes. They give of themselves constantly, often sacrificing their every-day lives for the good of the Council. These agents have neither subordinates or masters, instead taking on the missions requested of them by Assembly or Strategos.

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Guardians of the Veil

Status Titles

(Status 0)

Cultor that has not completed their Crimson Veil. A Cultor is the lowest members in the order they are not privy to any special information about the workings of the GoV. Their job is to take and weave the lies for the masses. Completion of the Crimson Veil grants the next rank of status.

(Status 1 Neophyte)

The rank of Neophyte denotes a mage that completed their Crimson Veil and are considered a full member of the GoV.

(Status 2 Famulus)

A famulus is a mage that completed their final veil. They are a firm believer in the beliefs of the GoV. This is the most common rank for members of the GoV. Some mages may never exceed the rank of Famulus because they failed some aspect of their veils. But instead of being informed they become trapped at this level. If the mage has not failed their Veil a higher ranking member may seek them out or vice versa to begin their next level of training.

(Status 3 - 4 title of Service)

Mages that reach these ranks have completed their veils, trained in a position of service and completed their training. Additionally they have proven their loyalty to the GoV in some profound act.Those mages that find themselves at this rank will begin a new understanding of the innermost working of the Guardians, their ultimate goals and beliefs.

(Status 5 Epopt or Magister)

(At least 1 Arcana Mastered to be called a Magister)

Epopt perform two functions. They manage the Labyrinth, upholding the order’s network of influence and misdirection, and they recruit new members, sending them through the Veils. An epopt rarely works alone. She directs other Guardians to support conspiracies and initiate novices through the Veils. Epopts are always experienced Guardians, but they rarely rise to the highest ranks of the order. The Guardians of the Veil value the Labyrinth, but try to keep its games at a distance.

Titles of Service

Culto

Cultors create and oversee the maintenance of Labyrinths. Though they are not responsible for the ways in which the caucus will use the Labyrinths, they are responsible for seeing that the Epopt’s decisions are made manifest in the Labyrinths.

Emissary

As many caucuses avoid revealing the identity of their Epopt - or sometimes, even the identities of their membership at all - the emissary acts as the public face of the Guardians to the local Consilium and other orders. Emissaries attend to public and private meetings, even being the one to deliver threats.

Susceptor

The elite spies of the Order, Susceptors are the field agents of the Guardians, their identities usually known only to Epopts. They eschew long-term strategies in favor of immediate objectives and tending to goals personally.

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Mysterium

Status Titles

(Status 0)

Exemplum: New initiated members who have yet to learn anything about the Atlantean Mystery. These members are not allowed to enter the athenaeum unescorted.

(Status 1 - Neokoros)

Members who have mastered the Mystery of the Principle. A neokoros may explore the Athenaeum in the shallows depths of the great library.

(Status 2 - Neokoros Superior)

A Mysterium mage who has spent time studying the Mysteries, mastered the Mystery of the Principle, and guides other Neokoros on their own study of the Mystery of the Principle.

(Status 3 - Daduchos)

A mage who has mastered the Mystery of Nightmares. Daduchos is the first level that allows the mage to take a position of service.

(Status 4 - Daduchos Superior)

Much like the Neokoros superior the Daduchos superior has studied, mastered, and is now guiding other magi along the Mystery of Nightmare. These mages have also taken a position within the order and proven themselves able to lead.

(Status 5 - Hierophant)

Hierophant must prove mastery of all of the great mysteries.

Titles of Service

Acquisitor

Field agents that travel the world to unearth Supernal knowledge

Censor

Safekeepers of artifacts who protect them from abuse by unenlightened hands

Theoricus

Members who have mastered the Mystery of the Soul

Savant

Mages who train in a certain field (one supernatural, one worldly) to preserve its knowledge for the Mysterium, in case that an Athenaeum that confined this knowledge is destroyed

Curator

Keeper and custodian of an Athenaeum

Philosophus

Members who have mastered the Mystery of Misfortune

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Silver Ladder

Titles

(Status 1 Neophyte)

Neophytes are the salespersons, advocates, messengers and lawyers of the Order that have been recently introduced into it are not yet accustomed to its secrets.

(Status 2 Acolytes)

Acolytes are junior members of the order that perform mainly menial tasks.

(Status 3 Famuli)

Famuli hold positions of power, administrate the ranks and efforts of the Consilium and generally direct the exertions of the order toward Ascension. Famuli is the minimum rank within the Silver Ladder needed to become a Factotum.

Factotum- are the lawyers of the Lex Magica. Mages of other Orders may call themselves factotum, but only among the Silver Ladder is it a rigorously-defined position of honor.

(Status 4 Claviger)

Claviger are responsible for maintaining the Silver Ladder’s ideological purity and recruit other mages for the Order.

(Status 5 Deacon)

Deacon is all things to all théarchs: leader, lawgiver, priest and chief representative.

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Custom Items and Powers

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